NEW YORK (March 14, 2008) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s plan to increase the number of tires it sources from low-cost countries could include off-take production from India, the company said in its 2007 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
When asked about the 10-K reference, a Cooper representative said as yet there is no off-take agreement in place with an Indian producer but that the company is evaluating possible manufacturing partners in a number of countries, including joint ventures and greenfield startups.
Cooper's recently disclosed strategy for the coming five years includes plans to raise the amount of tires sourced in low-cost countries to 35-45 percent from 18 percent.
Cooper sourced 2.25 million tires from China last year and recently signed an off-take production agreement with Mexico's CorporaciÃ³n de Occidente S.A. de C.V. covering up to 2.5 million broadline passenger and light truck radials a year. Cooper said in its 10-K it would source 3.8 million tires in 2008 from China, Mexico and other off-take partners.
At the same time, Cooper is selling its minority ownership stake in South Korea's Kumho Tire Co. Inc., which it bought two years ago as part of its global supply strategy then.